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I asked for Vegas stories and Screencaps readers understood the assignment
• Rob from NC writes:
Our last buddy from high school stays single way longer than the rest of us. When he finally meets the right girl, we all do one final Vegas bachelor party.
Looking back, this one was the best as we were all older with more money. We all got him pretty drunk at a nice dinner the final night. After dinner we end up in the casino spread out at a few different tables. He slides away from us, and ends up at a three-card poker table with a bunch of strangers. Steve and I go looking for him.
We roll up on him and he has no clue where he is, but he’s up big. He’s got a nice stack of $500 chips. Slurring his words, he tells both of us to go away and not ruin his winning run. As we are peeling away, he hands both of us three $500 chips and says “Whatever you do, don’t give this back to me tonight.” We get back to the group and report that he is alive, he’s on a run, and he doesn’t want to be disturbed. 45 minutes later he joins us, and he is so drunk that it takes two guys to get him to his room.
A month later we are all gathered for the wedding weekend. Steve and I have agreed to bring the cash and give it to him, and see if he even remembers giving it to us that night in Vegas. We pull the groom aside and give him his $3000. He says, “What the hell is this for?” He forgot that he handed two of his best friends $3000 from his bachelor party in Vegas.
That took great restraint to not talk about the $3,000 the next day as everyone is rehashing the wild night you all just lived through. Incredible ending.
• Brian G. in Coral Springs, Florida, by way of Cincinnati Elder, writes:
Joe, I have been a hardcore gambler for over 20 years. I used to go to Vegas 5 times a year to count cards and win some money. It was a business trip for me. After I was backed off most of the casinos and banned from blackjack I sought the next best positive advantage games for those who practice: live poker and video poker. Video Poker was great because they showered you in cash back and free perks like shopping sprees.
These days I am a bit numb (and on a long losing streak). My first big win was in 2006 at Treasure Island. I was playing 10-lines of $1 video poker at once and I hit two royal flushes for $8000. As I was up for the trip I decided to press my luck and play 10-lines of $2 ($2 at 5 coins X 10 lines is $100 a game). About an hour in I was dealt a royal flush ($80,000).
Of course I leapt into the air and screamed like the Bengals finally won the Super Bowl. I was scared to death because I was worried I would have to nervously click the hold button on all 5 cards but luckily the game just froze and started playing its jackpot music. I did not have a cell phone with a camera on it so they took a Polaroid for me (attached – horrible picture).
While I celebrated with some high-end Macallan to myself and the high-limit room all looked at me with hatred, I was informed that they had to call someone in from Nevada gaming to verify the machine was functioning properly. This took 2 hours and I lost all the cash I had on me (about $7500) waiting for this to finish. I spent the last 30 minutes resting my head on a nearby machine waiting.
My girlfriend at the time was in town with me but she was off shopping when I won as she couldn’t stand watching how much I gamble. I didn’t tell her how much I won but I said I won $4000 and bought her a nice Tiffany necklace.
Needless to say, my next few trips were amazing with friends in huge suites and comped dinners. I rented a house and living in Vegas for 4 weeks to play in a dozen of the World Series of Poker. I ended up losing $30k back that summer but had a blast and paid for my son’s pre-paid Florida education for 4 years (was only $12k back in 2006!).
I heard of a similar situation about waiting on a slot to be verified when my coworker’s son hit a slot for like $275k at some tiny northern Michigan casino on a snowmobile trip. They sat there waiting for some gaming official to be trucked in in the middle of the night to make sure the slot didn’t malfunction.
After all was said and done that night like 15 years ago, Eric’s machine was good. That’s the slot win I personally know of. If you’re going to hit a monster like that, northern Michigan is a good place to hit. Shots for the entire bar might run you $50.
AI isn’t ready to hang on football weekends
• Mark D. in Michigan writes:
Your comments about AI taking over your job were epic. I think my favorite line was when you said AI couldn’t hang with the boys for 14 hours during football season. Lmao. Ain’t that the truth? How is an AI bot gonna knock back a 12-pack and still function enough to argue about whether Aaron Rodgers looks stupid in a Jets uni? Lol. Take care.
I know AI is a hot-stove topic when Mrs. Screencaps sits at the kitchen table with me last night and has a long philosophical discussion about the technology because it’s starting to have an impact in her industry. Her company is toying with AI for copywriting and AI is performing at a level where it’s going to be implemented.
As a graphic designer with a digital art background, she’s also concerned about the impact AI will have on digital art and the recreation of art based on original works. Then I told her about how TNML is using AI to create a theme song and how the bots aren’t exactly ready to win Grammys.
Kids not having kids
• Tom F. in Charlotte, NC writes:
The ‘kids not having kids’ subject really strikes a chord with me. My wife and I have 5 grown daughters, with the oldest 2 now married. Was having 5 kids what we thought we signed up for when we got married? No way. It was always ‘2-and-a-talk’, meaning let’s have a few kids and see how things go.
She’s one of 5, and I only have 1 sister so I figured we’d have our 2 and be finished. After having the second we decided on 1 more…..and had twins! Not enough at 4 girls?
I really had to push hard for that 5th kid since my wife was doing all the heavy lifting at home. But what a fantastic ride. Wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Fast forward to now and our oldest and her husband have 4 little ones. They lean toward the conservative side and felt they wanted a big family to ‘balance’ the lib-libs that were having 1 kid and calling it quits.
Their house is a constant level of organized chaos that reminds me of ours when they were all little. The second oldest and her husband were married last year and just got a puppy, so starting a family is a little way down the road. But they’re talking ‘2 or 3’, for sure.
I can’t help but think the current crop of kids are just being self-centered and selfish. Can they ‘afford’ kids? Of course! Maybe drive your car a few more years instead of buying a new one (or two!).
Get into a smaller house instead of a McMansion.
How about ‘sacrificing’ a trip or two to the Caribbean or skiing in Colorado?
These kids are too worried about themselves and not ‘building’ a family and it’s to their detriment. In the long run, do you think they’ll be wishing they took one more trip to Europe or, maybe that they have a grandkid or two so they could cheer them on at their soccer or baseball game? Just my thoughts.
Howard’s Barber Shop in Lubbock, TX
• Radio man Ryan Hyatt in Ropesville, TX writes (everyone relax, Ryan is a public figure who talks Texas Tech sports on the radio for a living. He’s one of the few who will have his/her last name published in Screencaps):
Hope the Spring is going great for you and the family.
I recall a while back conversations amongst Screencap Nation about things Every Man Should Own Or Have. For my money, every man should have a real, honest to God, Barber Shop they can frequent.
I give you Howard’s Barber Shop in Lubbock, Texas. I’ve been going since late 80s. Back then, young guys didn’t even get to talk much. You listened. If you are lucky Howard would ask how you wanted your hair cut.
It was glorious.
Howard passed in the early 2000s but the tradition goes on with my man Jerry manning the first chair Tue-Sat from 7:30 (or so) to 5:30 ( or so ).
Jerry is a young guy, only 77. Bob recently retired. Hung it up at 87 years old.
It’s a pure throwback in decor, conversation and of course, you can get a shave with a straight razor.
Recently Jerry brought up the stereo he shipped back from Vietnam. Now we get live recordings of The Who and more. Great way to spend a Saturday morning. I call it The Last Great American Barber Shop, but I’m sure many Screencap readers have places like this around the country. Support them and keep them going!
Here’s a few pics. And yes, that’s a rattlesnake skin and a 1950s toy train set-up…
Concerts and Axl doing his Sarah Jessica Parker impression
• Shawn R. writes on last week’s music discussion:
Good late Sunday afternoon, Joe. Sorry I am a little late to this party, but I, like Heath McK was at that Orlando concert for Guns. N Roses, Metallica, and Faith No More (plus a fourth band opening that we missed.) AdmittedlyI am a Metallica Guy, but was pretty in tuned with G’nR. I will say, Metallica blew them away. In fact, I liked Faith No More second. The problem with Guns n Roses was Axl Rose was doing a Sarah Jessica Parker impersonation. That is, he had to change his outfit every song.
As far as the best concerts I ever went to, (outside of Metallica), I would say great classics like Tom Petty and Fleetwood Mac were tops of the list.
Hope you have a great golfing season. I was delayed sending this email because I was celebrating a first for me yesterday, I finished my round with four straight birdies (but still lost.)
Four-straight birdies? This guy might be on the Korn Ferry Tour. I’ll have to do some research. It’s absolutely disgusting to email me about such golfing exploits.
Shawn, do you guys take mulligans? I need to know if this is full-integrity golf.
TNML on the eve of Opening Day
• Greg G. in Birmingham, AL wrote to me last week:
First and foremost, thank you for bringing this once-silent community into the mainstream.
For years I thought I was the only one who criticized neighbors lawn lines when not straight. After three summers of walk mowing greens at our local RTJ Golf course during high school, it’s impossible not to simply lower my head in disgust at some neighbors ‘skills’.
I feel I am one of a dying generation of parents that actually teach their kids how to mow (and blow and trim). It really is sad to see men with teenagers mowing their own lawn because they don’t want their kids to ‘mess up’ their grass. For Christ sake, teach them a skill and instill a work habit where they can see immediate results…..and be proud of the finished product! I truly believe this is a contributing factor to the wasteland of youth we see today.
Enough of the diatribe…….by the way, anyone else teach their younger ‘yard crews’ to rotate their mowing patterns……A, B, C, D.? Makes a father proud when they know to do it on their own!
Thank you to Greg G. for bringing up a strong topic re: letting the kids take the mowing reins. The community had a discussion about a year ago on the age at which it’s time for the kids to start mowing at least half of the yard and it seems like 10-11 is the consensus. Here at the Kinsey house, we’ve made it to the mountaintop.
This year, my 10-year-old begins his journey. He will also make his journey into the world of mulch, planting and yard maintenance. Last week during our insane weather week, he learned the art of using hedge trimmers on our ornamental grasses. He learned the art of an ornamental grass buzzcut and how to fade the sides.
Meanwhile, his 6-year-old brother is my leaf blower trainee. We’re getting there.
Yes, Greg, you can get a sticker. I just need to get more envelopes. Hang tight.
Reid’s Pool Dilemma
Many of you will remember Reid as the homeowner who had to decide whether he was willing to sacrifice his yard for his neighbor who wanted to dig a pool, but the neighbor didn’t have access wide enough for the excavator. But Reid had room.
And Reid had a beautiful lawn.
In the end, after working out a sweet financial deal with the neighbor, Reid allowed his yard to be wrecked.
Now Reid is back and his yard IS BACK.
• Reid S. writes:
Here is a list of the work I did over the easter weekend in order.
- Double Mowed with grass collection to get grass as low as possible
- This makes raking aeration plugs much easier although still a brutal job
- Double Aerated entire yard
- Triple aerated where the most traffic came through
- Raked all plugs and used them as a base layer in the ruts and other low spots
- Some people don’t rake the plugs and that’s fine but you will feel them if your out there barefoot especially when you keep the grass as low as I do
- Double scarified entire yard
- Double mowed to collect thatch brought to surface through scarifying
- Filled 4 yard waste bags with thatch weighing 50ish pounds each
- Spread 8 cubic yards of top soil by shovel and wheel barrel
- Started by filling low spots, then rough spots, then rest of yard
- Used upside-down metal rake to push out top soils trying to fill all aeration holes
- Used hard plastic rake to rake out all clumps of dirt larger than a large grape
- Used all clumps to fill in an extra low spot in another area of a different yard
- Spread 40 pounds of a tri-blend ryegrass seed
- Used plastic rake again to lightly rake in the seed throughout entire yard
- Spread 30 pounds of starter fertilizer
- Spread 20 pounds of Mole repellant
- Spread 5 bales of straw
- Rolled entire yard with 300-pound water filled hand roller
- This smooths out the surface some but more importantly achieves a better seed to soil contact for better germination rates
Looking back on all this its crazy to think the first time I did this 3 years ago my son was still in my wife’s belly, Now he’s out there helping me shovel dirt, spread straw, and push the roller while my wife has our next child in her belly! Life’s crazy and moves so fast!! Our neighbors pool area is so nice and we have became closer to them throughout the process and was able to use there pool a few times last fall as it barely got finished before the season came to an end, I’m sure we will be over there quite a bit this year. I came out up about $3800 through the process and lost my yard for an entire year.
I can’t tell you how excited I am to lay some stripes in a few weeks!! Where I’ll be mowing 3 times a week and defiantly on Thursdays!
Before the pool:
Now what it looks like with the pool back there:
Baseball drills for my team’s Thursday night practice
Relax. As I’ve written extensively, my Thursday will consist of a late-afternoon mow, then baseball practice, then my TNML report so it’s ready to roll Friday morning.
Thanks to Bruce Z. in Overland Park, KS for these two ideas for our Thursday practice.
• Bruce Z. writes:
1. Running hard through first base. This will get you at least a couple leg hits over the season.
2. Glove on the ground tagging drill. This will get you outs and make your team look well-coached.
And that’s it for Wednesday. We’re ready to go. The sun is out and we’re heating back up in northern Ohio.
Go have an incredible day. Get your legs rested. Get the mind right. Opening Day is so close.